Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Rewards Credit Cards

I got a Citibank card because they offered 5% cash back on anything you buy at a grocery store, gas station, and drug store, plus 1% back on everything else, up to $300/year. Since that's where I spend most of my money, that sounded pretty good, and I made a pretty penny on those purchases.

After one year of that, they changed it (apparently that was a promotional rate) to 2% back on grocery/gas/drug store purchases, and added "monthly bills like cable", with everything else the same. Ok, not as good, but still cash back.

Here is the latest change Citibank has made to my credit card:

  • 1% cash back on everything (same)

  • I can only get that money in $50 increments

  • I have to use my card at least once a year

  • Every 3 months, the "2% or greater" cashback items will change, and I have to call or go online to "enroll" in the quarterly programs.

So this is how they getcha.

This month, it's restaurants, car rentals, and hotels, as if I travel.

I'm going to have to request a rebate check for the next four months to get my already earned cash back.

BofA just started giving cash back on my Visa (another promotional rate of 5% cash back on certain purchases until mid-June). I'm hoping they continue doing something like that, so I can stop using my Citibank card. Anybody know of a good cashback card? (I'm only interested in getting cash, not points or miles.)

ETA: I just found out that my BofA promotion is just that, and the customer service representative doesn't know of any future promotions. But she did enroll me in WorldPoints, which can be redeemed as cash. I'll have to see how the cashback rate compares to the 1% offered by Citi. If I'm dilligent enough, I can use my Citi card for those periodic high-return purchases (if I happen to go out to dinner, for example), and my Visa for everything else.

1 comment:

  1. alice1:55 PM

    I agree the citibank card is increasingly sucky. i think i have the same one as you. I've had my eye on the Chase Freedom card because it has 5% cashback, but also a 'rotating' set of categories. i don't know if you have to register each term. credit card companies hate people like us who make money off them rather than them making money off us :)